The effect of long-term poor sleep quality on risk of back-related disability and the modifying role of physical activity
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
Sleep problems and regular leisure time physical activity (LTPA) are interrelated and have contrasting effects on risk of back pain. However, no studies have investigated the influence of long-term poor sleep quality on risk of back-related disability, or if LTPA modifies this association. The study comprised data on 8601 people who participated in three consecutive surveys over ~ 22 years, and who reported no chronic back pain at the two first surveys. Adjusted risk ratios (RRs) for back-related disability were calculated at the last survey, associated with the joint effect of changes in sleep quality between the two first surveys and meeting physical activity guidelines at the second survey. Compared to people with long-term good sleep, people with long-term poor sleep had nearly twice the risk of back-related disability (RR 1.92, 95% CI 1.48–2.49). There was no statistical interaction between sleep and LTPA but people who reported long-term poor sleep and meeting the physical activity guidelines had 35% lower risk of back-related disability compared to people with same level of sleep problems, but who not met the guidelines. These findings suggest that long-term poor sleep quality contributes to a substantially increased risk of chronic and disabling back pain irrespective of LTPA.